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Silviculture for Eastern Old Growth in the Context of Global Change

  • William S. Keeton
  • Craig G. Lorimer
  • Brian J. Palik
  • Frédérik Doyon
Chapter

Abstract

When management for old-growth characteristics in eastern forests first began to be discussed in the late twentieth century, there was skepticism from some quarters as to whether it was a desirable or even a feasible idea. Old growth will recover on its own. Why not just let nature take its course? There were also those who saw little value in managing for old-growth features, perceiving this as a threat to more traditional management objectives (Puettmann et al. 2015). Since that time, concepts of managing for stand structural complexity, in ways that encourage some characteristics of old-growth forests, have caught on in a variety of contexts (Bauhus et al. 2009; Puettmann et al. 2009). In many ways this shift mirrors how the profession has grown to embrace multifunctional forestry broadly defined (Gustafsson et al. 2012). Old-growth silviculture increasingly has a place within this framework, filling the niche of enhancing the representation of late successional forests on landscapes where they are now vastly underrepresented relative to their abundance on landscapes prior to Euro-American settlement (Lorimer and White 2003; Rhemtulla et al. 2007). The working hypothesis is that this type of management will contribute to sustainable forest practices focused on providing a broad array of ecosystem goods and services, including those associated with late successional systems. And in recent decades there has been increasing interest in old-growth restoration more narrowly and management for older forest characteristics in working forests generally, both in terms of experimental research (e.g., Keeton 2006; Gronewold et al. 2010; Forrester et al. 2013; Palik et al. 2014) and practical applications (Hagenbuch et al. 2013; Fassnacht et al. 2015).

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© Andrew M. Barton and William S. Keeton 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Keeton
  • Craig G. Lorimer
  • Brian J. Palik
  • Frédérik Doyon

There are no affiliations available

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